If you have tried searching for the popular Anker battery packs for your smartphones or tablets, you may have become confused by the PowerCore II, PowerCore+, Powercore, and Astro series of products. The PowerCore II, PowerCore+, PowerCore, and Astro battery banks are available in the stores at the same time, often look the same, have same capacity, and sometimes even have same or similar prices!
Also many shady sellers sell old Anker products on Amazon and other sites under false claims of being the “latest”.
To further complicate matters, all the five – PowerCore II, Powercore+, PowerCore Lite, Powercore, and Astro – are available in the Amazon marketplace side-by-side. The “second” or “third generation” of Astro portable power banks are even wrongly shown in Amazon product listings as the more recent versions!
Even Anker itself continues to sell old and new versions of the powerbanks at the same time with EXACTLY same name and unless you know what you are looking for, you may well end up buying an older version powerbank at same price as the latest one! For example, two different models of PowerCore+ 10050 are available at present, one with QC 2.0 and the other Anker PowerCore+ 10050 with the latest QC 3.0.
Let us simplify the situation for you –
#1 Anker PowerCore II Series are the latest Anker powerbanks released in 2018. All PowerCore II Series powerbanks support Quickcharge 2.0 and get charged faster than old PowerCore or Astro powerbanks.
#2 Anker PowerCore+ powerbanks are BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
#2 An Anker PowerCore (without the +) powerbank is BETTER and NEWER than Astro Gen 1 or Gen 2 of same capacity.
Anker product timeline goes on like this when considering powerbanks of equivalent or nearly similar capacity.
(Oldest & outdated)
Astro 2nd gen or Astro 2
(Old and not recommended)
(Less features but good value for money)
PowerCore+ Series (2015-2016)
(Lighter than PowerCore & with Quickcharge 3.0)
PowerCore II Series (2017/2018)
(2017/2018, Latest and lightest fast charging power banks with new circuits)
Anker PowerCore vs Astro
When comparing Anker’s PowerCore or PowerCore+ products with Astro series of battery banks, the features and battery capacity significantly increase from Astro to PowerCore for the same approx. battery capacity. For example, while old Astro 2 Mini 3200 lipstick sized power bank had 3200 Mah Capacity, the newer PowerCore+ 3350 Mini of exactly same size and design has 3350 MaH capacity. This is possible as the newer PowerCore+ 3350 Mini has a more advanced Li-ion battery inside.
The difference and better performance also continues in other aspects. For example, Astro 2 3200 mini has a charging current capacity of 0.8 A while PowerCore+ Mini 3350 battery packs get charged faster with a 1.0 A charging current.
Moreover, as the charging circuits are upgraded with successive generations many advanced charging and security features have been introduced in the later PowerCore, PowerCore+ and PowerCore II Series power banks that lead to long battery life, reduced overheating, better efficiency, and better protection of the powerbank circuits etc.
We recommend avoiding Astro series products altogether as newer PowerCore II/PowerCore+ portable USB chargers offer lighter weight, more features and more value for money.
Do you Need Quickcharge 3.0?
As many latest released Anker powerbanks such as the latest Anker PowerCore II 10000 and Anker PowerCore II 20000 support Quickcharge 2.0 charging but DO NOT support QuickCharge 3.0, you may be wondering whether higher priced powerbanks with QuickCharge 3.0 such as Anker PowerCore+ 10050 are required or not and what is the difference.
Here are the points to consider:
- If you plan to use your Powerbank for charging Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, S7, S6, Note 8, Note 5, Note 4, J series, A series phones or iPhones 8,7,6,5,4 SE etc. then you DO NOT require QuickCharge 3.0 powerbanks. All Samsung phones only require up to QuickCharge 2.0 for fastest charging speed.
- If you already own a phone that supports Quickcharge 3.0 or plan to own such as phone, then a powerbank with Quickcharge 3.0 Output is a good investment as it will charge your phone to 80% in 30 minutes when you are in a hurry. Here is a comprehensive list of all smartphones with QuickCharge 3.0 support.
- Future Proofing (Low Capacity) – If you are buying a low capacity powerbank, just buy a powerbank that suits your current phone. Both Quickcharge 2.0 powerbanks such as Anker PowerCore II 10000 and QC 3.0 powerbanks such as PowerCore Speed 10000 QC Quickcharge 3.0, both will be equally useful for upcoming phones as BOTH support 18-watt charging.
- Future Proofing (High Capacity 20,000mah +) As of now, 18-watt fast charging (preferably over USB-C PD) is the upcoming trend for powerbanks. Both Google Android and Apple are supporting it in their latest phones. Therefore, if you are on a budget, buy a 18-watt fast charging powerbank such as Anker PowerCore II 20000 that will serve you perfectly well in the future for all Android smartphone fast charging needs.
- If you own iPhone 8, 8+, X or if you want to be absolutely future proof and do not mind paying extra, buy a 18 watt+ USB-C PD powerbank such as Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 or Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD are the best choice currently for fast charging latest and upcoming smartphones (both Apple iPhones 8/8+/Xand Samsung Salaxy S9/S8/Note 8 as well as other Androids.
PowerCore II & PowerCore+ offer the most advanced features
PowerCore offers best value for money deal
In the end, when it comes to Anker Powercore vs Astro, the easy conclusion is to buy only the latest series PowerCore+ series and PowerCore II Series power banks for best performance compared to any Astro series power banks of equivalent capacity. For example, say if you are looking for a powerbank around 10,000 mah, then Anker PowerCore II 10000 is newer and better than the older Powercore+ 10050 with QC 2.0, older PowerCore 10000, or the even older Astro E3 10000. This is because Anker PowerCore II 10000 supports fast charging for the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones such as S9, S8, S7 etc and also gets charged in 4 hours using Quickcharge wall chargers.
Unfortunately for customers, probably due to the continued popularity and familiarity of the Astro brand, Anker has not discontinued the Astro series powerbanks. At the same time, it has introduced multiple generations of Powercore+ series battery packs at quite similar size, price and designs as the Astro series, creating a confusing mix of the three brands.
Here is a comprehensive list of Anker External Battery Packs according to their battery capacity. We have also included the Amazon shopping links of the only authorized Anker products seller on Amazon – AnkerDirect.
Also do not forget to read our guide on the important things to know before buying an Anker powerbank.
|Astro 2 |
|PowerCore+ 3350 Mini|
models such as
|Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 |
(Latest & New Release)
|Astro E2|| |
| PowerCore II 6700|
(Avoid this, better to buy Anker 13000 at same price)
|Astro E4 |
|Astro E5 16000 (Old)||PowerCore 15600|
Powercore II 20000
|Astro E7 26800||PowerCore 26800 |
(Latest & New Release)
Powercore+ 26800 with QuickCharge 3.0 + QC 3.0 WallCharger (Latest)
|120,000 mAH||Anker PowerHouse|
As you can see here at the official Astro power bank page both the Powercore and Astro series of Anker Powerbanks exist side by side at the same time.